Does the Brazilian Keratin Blow Dry work on Afro Hair?

While Tasha prepares to jet to sunnier climes shortly to attend a destination wedding, Cassie and me get to stay on in good old Blighty and enjoy the delights of grey skies and rain. Is it just me or is February 2011 seem really long? It is only 28 days, but it feels like 100!

Anyway,  on the one sunny and mildly warm day so far this month, I took myself off to have a consultation for a Brazilian blowdry to find out what this new treatment is all about.

Beforehand I had researched on the internet what the treatment entailed, because I was interested to know whether it worked on Afro hair.  My hair is now about 80% natural with about 2-3 inches of relaxed hair at the front which I am growing out.

In speaking to the stylist, she informed me that the treatment would not straighten my natural hair completely – my wave pattern would still be there – but I would notice more longevity  in the treatment especially after the second or third application. Also I was informed that the treatment the salon used – Beox –  did contain formaldehyde (0.03%) which was not a harmful level. Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen. Beox’s website states that Beox Professional is registered in the UK and has undergone health and safety assessments to ensure it meets UK and European Cosmetic Regulation.

The Brazilian Blow Dry Process

With that in mind, I decided to go ahead with the treatment.  My hair was washed with a clarifying shampoo to open the cuticles of the hair shaft, and then blowdried to dry off the excess water. The stylist coated my hair with Beox Chocolate which is the strongest version of the treatment as my hair is thick, in the same manner as a relaxer would be applied, coating all the strands. The Brazilian blow dry solution is the same texture as shampoo, and had a chocolate smell.  The fumes from the treatment however, caused my eyes to sting and water halfway through.  The stylist paused and turned me to face a fan to ease my discomfort. After application, the treatment was left for 15 minutes and then tonged through to seal in the treatment. The stylist had given me a towel to cover my face because of the fumes which given off by the steam are acrid, smell of burning plastic and irritate your eyes and nose.

After a cut,  my hair is tonged into shape and with a spritz of hair sheen I am good to go! My hair is softer and it doesn’t frizz especially in humid conditions. I can still see my natural hair wave pattern, but I don’t mind. My relaxed ends are just sitting there quietly straight as a bone – definitely a treatment that works first time on relaxed or dyed hair.

You are not meant to wash your hair for 24 hours after the treatment or tie it up but after the first night, my hair kinked the other way, so I went back to wrapping it and tying it with a scarf the following night without any ill effects.

Would I get a Brazilian blow dry again? I really don’t know. I guess I will be able to answer that question in about 4 months when the treatment wears off. So, should you get a Brazilian blow dry for your wedding day? I lay out the pros and cons below, but in the end it is a decision that only you can make.

Pros of the Brazilian Blow Dry

  1. Lasts up to 4 months
  2. No fizzy hair!
  3. Smoother hair to the touch
  4. Suitable for any chemically treated hair as well as natural. (If you need to dye or relax your hair, either do this a week before the treatment or 2 weeks after.)

Cons of the Brazilian Blow Dry

  1. It is expensive!
  2. It takes about 2-3 hours in the salon depending on the length of your hair, whether you are cutting your hair as well – so go when the salon is not busy (i.e. Saturday)!
  3. You may experience irritation to your eyes and nose during the treatment.
  4. To lengthen the effectiveness of the treatment, you will need to wash your hair with a sodium chloride/sulfate free shampoo and conditioner (so that crosses out going swimming in the sea!)
  5. Possible significant hair loss.
  6. You can’t tie your hair up or use styling products after the treatment at least till your first wash. (So if you want an updo for your wedding you will need to do this treatment in advance, though I wrapped my hair at night and moisturised my hair with Elasta QP Mango Butter Moisturizer immediately when I got home from the salon, no probs.)
  7. Not suitable for pregnant or breast feeding women.
  8. Possible health risks due to the formaldehyde (see below video).

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9 Responses to “Does the Brazilian Keratin Blow Dry work on Afro Hair?”
  1. chloe says:

    What is your opinion on the treatment now as it has been 5 months or so since this review?

    • brideofcolour says:

      Hi Chloe,

      At first it did hold up against humid conditions but as I went along it did revert very quickly.

      At first when I was washing it, it took longer to get the hair wet as it was coated with keratin. The hair did dry quicker but you still have to blow dry and tong it to get it straight.

      I did read that using the keratin shampoo which helps the treatment to last longer causes your hair to fall out. However, I didn’t experience any hair falling out.


  2. Charleen says:

    Hi Louisa

    I’m currently growing out my relaxer and just wanted to find out if you had this treatment again? If not, do you have any other ecomendations for gettignthrough this process?


    • brideofcolour says:

      Hi Charleen, I didn’t have a Brazillian again as the smell and my eyes watering put me off! My stylist did recommend to me another keratin treatment by Arosci that she had done on her own hair as she has natural hair for 2 years. It is a liquid/mousse (no smells/she put it on my hand so it is safe for skin contact!) that they set in your hair with hot tongs at 400C, but then they wash it out and blow dry and set the hair as normal. I may try that one!

      My hair is completely natural now. What I found helped was cutting off the relaxed hair off in stages – getting regular cuts – co washing helped too. Plus treating it.

      Also I found that getting it washed and blow dried at the salon got it more straight than I could as I have thick hair! I also found that my hair does react to moisture a lot more now it is natural, but once I am out of the humid conditions my hair starts to sit back down again.
      Hope that helps!

  3. Erone says:

    Hi there,

    Just came across this and found it interesting. I’m moving out of my home country soon for a new job and want to try the Brazilian keratin blow dry to save money and time as I’ll be in a totally new place. I relax my hair every 6-8 weeks and want to know if I need to let the relaxer grow out completely before I have the brazilian blow dry or not?
    And is it a great time saver?


    • Hi Erone
      Thanks for your comment. To be honest the BB does save time in that your hair blow dries a lot quicker, and it reacts to moisture a lot less. You do have to wash your hair with the keratin shampoo and conditioner to prolong the treatment though. I think that was about £20 or so for the shampoo/conditioner. You can have the BB at anytime as it is just coating the hair.

  4. Tanisha says:

    I went into the hair salon today and the hairdresser began telling me about the Brazilian blow dry. It all sounded a bit ‘too good to be true’. Can I just clarify, when you washed your hair after the treatment, did your hair not turn into an Afro at all?

    • Hi Tanisha
      When you wash your hair it goes back to its natural state when wet – curly afro etc. You have to blow dry it and tong it to make it straight again.

      Hope that helps.


  5. nworbnylorac says:

    I personally love my Cocoa Keratin by Karmin 🙂